The time has come for yet another installment in the Scary Movie franchise with Scary Movie 5 coming out on Friday. In case you need to catch up and don’t have time to watch the previous four movies before Friday, here is a series recap of what you have missed so far.
Central scary movie parodies: Scream trilogy (before Scream 4 came out), I Know What You Did Last Summer
Plot: Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) and her friends have been receiving mysterious notes from a stranger saying that he or she knows that they accidentally killed a man by hitting him with their car the year before. Meanwhile, a fellow student has been killed by a masked killer a la Scream, and there is reason to believe that the two situations are related.
After the friends start getting picked off one by one, eventually the movie comes to its climax at a house party that Cindy throws, hoping that she will find safety in numbers. Cindy manages to survive, but the killer ends up escaping before the police arrive. Don’t worry though, he never turns up again because who cares about continuity?
Central scary movie parodies: The Haunting, The Exorcist
Plot: It is a year after the first movie, and Cindy and her friends who survived the first movie (and some who didn’t, but they decided to bring them back anyway) are now at college trying to adjust to life after the traumatic events experienced in the last movie. Their college professor, Professor Oldman (Tim Curry), and his paraplegic assistant, Dwight (David Cross), plan on studying paranormal activity in a local haunted mansion called Hell House with the gang.
After arriving at Hell House, the gang splits off (of course) and many of Cindy’s friends succumb to the violent acts of spirits haunting the mansion. Eventually Cindy is used as bait to try and lure the ghosts out of the house and she and whoever is left standing eventually relieve themselves of the curse of the hauntings.
Central scary movie parodies: The Ring, Signs
Plot: Cindy and the gang have gone their separate ways, and Cindy is now a news anchor in Washington. She reports one mysterious crop circles that have appeared in the Logan brothers’ crops, Tom (Charlie Sheen) and George (Simon Rex), spelling out “ATTACK HERE.” Coincidentally, Cindy and George meet while Cindy is picking up her nephew, Cody (Drew Mikuska) and George is picking up his niece, Sue. They instantly fall for each other and their paths become intertwined for the rest of the movie.
After a date with George that involves a rap battle, Cindy goes over to her friend Brenda’s house (the only other character from the previous two movies to show up) because Brenda wants company after watching a cursed tape. Eventually, a spooky girl by the name of Tabitha(Marny Eng) crawls out of the TV and kills Brenda.
After watching the tape herself, Cindy seeks help and is told that she must find the lighthouse that is present in the tape. Cody watched the tape and Cindy is determined to save him. Meanwhile, aliens have started to visit earth and the Logan’s home and they start to take precautions. After Cindy finds the lighthouse, she finds out that Tabitha needs to be returned to the well that she climbs out of before climbing out of TVs in order for the curse to be broken.
Cindy goes back to the Logans’ house, where they then take shelter from the aliens in their basement. They discover that the aliens are trying to vanquish Tabitha as well, and Cindy realizes that the well is (conveniently) located at the Logans’ residence. She eventaully puts Tabitha back into the well and the curse is broken. Then she and George get married.
Central scary movie parodies:War of the Worlds, The Grudge, The Village, Saw franchise
Plot: The movie picks up with Cindy visiting her former brother-in-law Tom Logan. Apparently George has died and Cody is off at military school, causing Cindy to become lonely. Tom is also depressed, and commits suicide by ingested too much Viagra. Because that happens.
So after that interesting death scene, Cindy takes a job as a caretaker for an old woman named Mrs. Norris who, of course, lives in a haunted house. Cindy makes friends with her new neighbor Tom Ryan (because having two characters named Tom isn’t confusing AT ALL), and confides in him about the death of George. This of course results in them realizing their love for each other, but just as they kiss a supernatural storm erupts and it turns out that it is an alien invasion. Tom then flees with his children to find safety while Cindy returns home and speaks with the house’s ghost. The Japanese boy ghost Toshio explains that the answer to the invasion lies in his father’s heart. Okay.
Cindy then reunites with Brenda (despite having died in the previous film), and they follow Toshio’s directions, ending up in a mysterious village that resembles an Amish community. They are captured by the townspeople, who take them to their courthouse and rule that they can never leave the village. Meanwhile, Tom and his children continue to flee, but are eventually captured by the alien triPod. Back in the village, Cindy and Brenda discover that the village leader Henry Hale (Bill Pullman) is Toshio’s father, but he is unable to finish his story as Cindy and Brenda are captured by the aliens.
Cindy, Brenda and Tom are reunited in captivity, and seem to be in a Saw-esque survival situation. Billy the puppet tells them they have 60 seconds to get to get to safety. While trying to escape, Cindy realizes that Billy is actually Toshio’s biological father, and the alien attack is revenge for his son’s death. After a series of attacks, Billy decides to retreat after seeing how far Tom will go to save his children, and they are released.
Nine months later, Tom goes crazy on Oprah Tom Cruise-style, confessing his love for Cindy. And then Brenda dies again.
So, I hope that helped with the catch-up! Scary Movie 5 opens this Friday, April 12. Hopefully this information is of some help, although we now know how continuity isn’t exactly this franchise’s strong point.